2/15/2013 10:15 PM ET|
Past 55 and jobless: What to do
Few have a pension to fall back on if employment ends sooner than planned. Here's what you need to know about unexpected retirement.
It was not all that long ago that people could hope to stay gainfully employed with a company for many years and perhaps even an entire career. Loyalty was a two-way street: Employees worked hard to complete the tasks at hand, and companies valued workers' individual contributions and experience. The number of years on the job was a plus, and seniority was a virtue.
Now job-hopping has become the norm and longevity at a single job a distant memory. It is likely that current workers will move through multiple jobs during a career. Sometimes a job change is the result of a personal decision to find something new or better. But many workers find themselves forced from their jobs into a market overpopulated with many other highly qualified individuals searching for their next gig. For older employees, a layoff or buyout can be especially challenging:
● Half of current retirees say they retired earlier than they originally planned, mainly due to health or disability issues, according to a 2012 Employee Benefit Research Institute study.
● In addition to health issues, seniors may find themselves without jobs due to economic issues beyond their control.
● The median length of unemployment has more than tripled for those older than 55 since the recession started. What was typically 10 weeks of unemployment before the recession had ballooned to 35 weeks by 2011.
● Increasing health care costs may cause companies to be reluctant to rehire older workers because they employers may assume older workers will be expensive to insure.
But you can recover from an unexpected early retirement. Here are a few ways to cope if you’re facing involuntary unemployment:
Try to save your job. Before you just accept a layoff, you may want to plead your case to your employer. Explain in detail the value you add to the company, the years of experience that have made you a model of efficiency, how you set an example for others and why it makes sense to keep you. Be specific with examples of just how you have made things better. Describe the cost of hiring and training a replacement and the risk of hiring the wrong person and losing months of productivity. Help to defuse the misconception that older workers are more expensive. However, the unfortunate reality is that this is an uphill battle if the decision has been implemented across the company and the wheels are already in motion.
Start your own business. Sometimes losing your job can be just the push needed to do something yourself. You can pursue a course you feel passionate about. Whether a short-term choice until you find something else or a new career, taking those first steps can be crucial. If you enjoy identifying and completing one project at a time you may want to look into contracting or consulting engagements that utilize your work experience. A home-based businesses can require a minimal initial investment and provide flexibility in hours without the hassle of commuting. Turn a hobby you enjoy into a money generator, whether you are an aspiring writer, crafter, musician, builder or blogger. Try to view this as not only an unexpected challenge but also an opportunity.
Volunteer. If you need to continue working but have few options available, you may want to consider volunteering at an organization you are interested in. Get in the door and build a reputation as a dedicated, energetic worker in the hopes of being in the right place at the right time when other opportunities arise.
Retire. Despite their best efforts, some people will find that the working world has few opportunities for them. Only a third of older workers displaced between 2007 and 2009 found full-time work by 2010, and often at reduced wages, according to a Government Accountability Office report. Many seniors want and need to work, but some simply can't find jobs. Unexpected early retirement may require significant cuts expenses and lifestyle in order to live on savings that must be tapped sooner than planned.
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I think all the 50+ should come together and strategize a way to leave all big banks, only patronize the doctors who are finding alternative treatments (holistic healing, etc) instead of robbing us blind with synthetic drugs, and come together to create our own communities called "No Greed"! We have always given money too much power when the real power has always been within in us.
PLEASE let's recondition ourselves - we have the power.
I agree with many of you writing about this article being written by someone young and working most likely with insurance or selling something for their profit.
All I have to say is look at the history of this country. Each time a union gets strong, they want to bring it down, there was a time we had "labor board" as part of each state, protecting the average day workers' jobs, that was working, they brought them down and disposed of them.
Take it from a Native American, who know the truth, the real truth about this government. We are on our own, with NO ONE to protect us or our jobs.
The young people of today only want to make money hand over fist, move out the all old people because us older folks (which is like 45 yrs plus) remind them just how "entitled" our generation brought them up to be.
Face it people, we created this generation in more ways than one. So many times over the years I have heard from friends. "Oh, I want my children to have more, more, more, than what I had growing up. and they deserve to win, win, win, every game or event they are part of.
We have created a ignorant race of people, who feel nothing but entitled to do what ever they want, walk on/over, cut out that monster that has fed them through their growing years. No they have rebelled against those who raised then and all alike.
Sorry to sound so negative, but I after I left my job as an office manager of 9 years with one company. I had to step up and care for my aging sick parents, 5 years went by very quickly, but I was left out in the cold and struggling to find a job in my career. Four years, nothing but part time work or contract work that never offered a permanent placement.
Back to work I did in high school, par-time cashier, waitress, bagger, work in a convenience store. As to the present, I finally decided to open my own business and work for myself. Now the state is killing all the small business, why, cause the "RIch and wealthy" including those entitled young workers, now pretty wealthy, do not want to pay their share, like the rest of the rich.
Do Not Put up a white flag..............Never give up, Keep fighting and pushing just the way the entitled do. REMEMBER............THEY ARE NOTHING WITHOUT US.
PS Being a Native American Indian, I have no faith in the government to help us, they have given the ok for assisted and non-assisted suicide.
Just as difficult to obtain is a leadership type job. Once a supervisor or manager is let go it is automatically assumed that they did something wrong. This is especially since you cannot now legally dig into a person's past by asking the previous company why they were let go. In my case, at age 37 (1991) and an Area Manager for an "aquired" long distance company by Worldcom... I found myself out of work for a year, finally paring my resume down to "I can spell my name 3 times without problem". The job I aquired paid less than 1/4 my previous salary and took me back to Technician 1 wages and level.
still waiting on the zombie apokolypse
As bad an article as I have ever read. In a word - USELESS. The shame in this is that there are actually real, constructive ways of getting back in the job market even if you are over 55.
They are not easy and in some cases the jobs are down right lousy. Options like, moving to an area where jobs you can perform exist. Volunteering is not a horrible option, if it leads to a job. This can be for a political candidate or other organization that may be able to use your skills - churches, relief organizations, etc.
Reinventing yourself is pretty hard. I had to do it when I was in my mid thirties. I can't imagine trying to do it in my mid fifties. If there is anything you are passionate about, see if it can in anyway be turned to something that can make money.
In the end, there are no quick, easy fixes that will fit all.
So this Dave Bernard is an expert with advice? Where's the advice? For that matter did anyone garner any expertise from this tripe. This numbskull didn't provide one useful clue that someone already hiding behind the door already knew about
Nice touch though. The guy must get paid by the word. it shows how foolish his employer is to pay for such cow dung, bile, kitty litter dribble.
What's really a shame is that this dunce-head could have provide utility and assistance to those out of work. Instead, he shoveled BS because apparently he believes or has sinus trouble which says his *&$* don't stink. .
Hmm, hope you understand my point
This column offered no new ideas for me, but three months after discovering that I had a muscle disease (that I can control with pills) my employer invited me into the office and advised me that my position had been eliminated. Here are a few things that people over 55 should be doing if they're still working:
1. Reconnect with your business contacts outside the company. You aren't going knock an interview out of the park with youthful exuberance any more so you need all the advantages you can find. A few good words from a business associate already working for the target company will go a long way.
2. Keep your eyes open. How many retirement lunches have you attended? If the number is low, chances are your employer is culling the gray hairs from the herd. If you see it happening, get your resume on the street ASAP.
3. Don't assume you can find a lower paying job in your current field. A manager who is now willing to accept an apprentice position makes the existing managers in the company nervous. Who wants a seasoned set of eyes watching them make mistakes that others don't catch.
4. If you're already out of work, use the legal system to solve your money problems. Bad credit isn't the kiss of death for people who are going to be on a fixed income soon. It won't help your chances of finding another job in your field, but if you can make it to the interview, you'll have a good reason for it.
5. Figure out what you loved to do in your spare time, and give it a whirl. When I lost my job as a contracts manager, I searched for another one, but eventually took a job as a retail clerk where my gray hair made me an instant expert. Now I get to visit with people all day and get paid for doing it. The money's not the same but if you follow step 4, it's do-able.
6. Make solid connections with a set of doctors who are willing to continue treating you after Obamacare comes fully into effect (2016). Your chances of becoming a new patient who offers more medical problems than money could make finding a new doctor difficult.
Volunteering may not pay, but it does help a person from feeling useless! I'm over 55 and jobless, and getting depressed is problem. If you can feel good about yourself you may project a more positive image. But I agree that this article offers little practical advice for those who actually need a paying job.
I lost my job in 2008 and only able to find part time work. I lived off my retirement for 2 years and all along I had failing health. I applied for my SSD, I got a lawyer. I asked him a seris of questions and even though I had a pension, which was not as much as I worked for, so the PT job helped. He told me that I had odds in my favor. Because of being 55t SS considers me advanced aging and I had a good chance of getting it. I also had 35 years on the same job. I was awarded my SSD in 11 weeks of applying. Now I don't have to us all my savings and I have a pension and SSD. Now I am making more money that I did when I was working including the overtime I use to always work. God hand is not short, he is good, and I am very greatful at the age of 57t!!!!!!!
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